Sunday, May 22, 2022

Just Finished My Latest Study/Trial ...


... which is my second for Radicle Science (not an affiliate link).

This was a trial for improving sleep quality. I took the substance every day per the study directions.

What did I receive/take?

It may have been a single agent, CBD or melatonin.

Or it may have been a combination: CBD + CBN,  CBD + CBN + Melatonin, CBD + CBN + CBC, or Full Spectrum Hemp Distillate + CBN.

Whatever it was, I can't say that I noticed any improvement in my quality of sleep. As directed, I took it about half an hour before I planned to go to bed at night, with food, and didn't notice that I was any sleepier or less sleepy when I tucked in than usual, or that I got to sleep any more quickly or any more slowly than usual, or that I slept longer or for less time than usual, or that I felt any more or rested than usual upon awakening.

Now that I've completed the trial, some time soon Radicle will let me know what it was they had me take. 

I am hoping that it was not anything containing CBN, because based on conversations with friends it's supposed to be a real sleep improver and I've had high hopes for it. In fact, I was planning to buy some and then this study came up so I decided to wait.

I know that CBD improves my sleep (and slightly reduces my chronic nerve pain) because I've used it, both in a previous study and by purchasing it myself. So I'm guessing that I either got melatonin alone (in a low dose -- when I use it, I generally use 10mg before bed and it helps a little), or or very low dose CBD alone, or Full Spectrum Hemp Distillate + CBN with very little CBD in the "full spectrum hemp." But I guess I'll know soon.

New Tales of Knapp the Gardener Agonistes


I can't say I'm disappointed, but I am realizing that I didn't do a great job with this attempt at a garden.

The zucchini was beautiful. Two plants. I harvested one sizable ripe squash. Then some kind of critter treated the plants like a buffet, ate most of the little baby squash, and broke both plants at the main stem near the ground. So the plants are composting now.

I thought I planted plenty of peas, but they didn't seem to do well. I don't know if I didn't water them enough, or if I watered them too much (that's what I suspect), or if the soil just wasn't right for them (I also suspect that). From a whole row of planting (IIRC, 13 plants), only seven or eight survived and only five produced pea pods. When they looked ripe yesterday, I picked them, pulled up the plants and put them in the compost bin, and realized I had about enough for one good stir-fry. May do that with the peas, the zucchini, and stuff from the store (onion, pepper, cauliflower) tonight.

I'm pretty sure I did plant plenty of green beans, and they're about ready to pick. Hopefully more than one family meal's worth, probably cooked with baby/new red potatoes, a bit of bacon, etc.

There's leaf salad ready to pick and have in salads and I will probably do some of that that this week.

The corn plants have tasseled.

Some of the peppers have started flowering, and it looks like I've got a couple of tiny cayenne actually fruiting.

The cherry tomatoes look good. They're still green, but definitely going well.

The cucumbers are doing too well. I unthinkingly planted a whole row of them and they are going gangbusters. Problem: I don't eat cucumbers (they make my mouth break out), and there will be way too many for e.g. Tamara's salads. We may try pickling, but pickles aren't so popular in our household that it would really be worth the effort. Next time, it will be one or two plants.

The cantaloupe is flowering and hopefully about to fruit. I'm looking forward to harvesting a cantaloupe of an evening, sticking it in the fridge over night, then cutting and eating cold cantaloupe the following morning for breakfast.

The pumpkin plants look kind of sickly and haven't flowered yet.

A little while back I started a "container potato" project with an old rectangular plastic container with an opening lid. I put in its side, cut a hole in it, planted a red potato with an eye or three in it (with nice fertile soil), and kept it wet. It's sprouted. The idea is that I can just open that lid (which is now on the side), pull out a few potatoes, and keep the thing going/growing in perpetuity. If that works out, I'll be doing more of it. Potatoes are a huge staple in our household.

This is really the first time, as an adult, that I've put in the effort and follow-through to really make a garden grow and go such that it's providing food. But Garden 2.0 will be laid out very differently. Most of the stuff -- tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, lettuce -- will be planted "square foot" style for maximum yield versus density. Then I'll have a more sprawling area full of fairly closely packed corn and less densely packed squash and cantaloupe. I haven't decided whether to try kidney beans yet, but those, along with the tomatoes and peppers, would be the base for chili, which we like a lot.

And I'll be doing more research on what the various plants need in terms of water, sun, etc. so that I can get things right for each plant instead of just giving them all the same amounts of this and that and the same soil type. I would love for Garden 2.0 to be able to produce all the veggies we want/need for the time between Garden 2.0 and Garden 3.0.


I Still Haven't Figured Out the Entirety of the Algorithm ...


 ... at Backgammon Galaxy, but I think I've reverse engineered one part of how it calculates "error rating."

After 400-odd matches (of which, as of a few minutes ago, I've now won exactly 1/3 -- I'm winning more than half these days), I've noticed a very specific trend, and emulated that trend to see if it produced the result I anticipated. It does.

The trend:

I've noticed that many players -- including some pretty highly rated ones -- seem to play a "strategy" of "if there's a single checker you can hit, hit it no matter what the situation, and hope for the best."

In a match this morning, an opponent had seven checkers either on the bar or in my home area, and almost all of them got on the bar by taking out singles of mine while he had singles scattered in his home area that my rolls to get off the bar took out.

I've also noticed that these players seem to get lower error ratings. Which means if you beat them, you don't gain any rating points. But if they happen to win, they do. In the aforementioned match, I ended up winning ... and gaining no rating points.

I played several matches using that "strategy" -- just take out the other guy's checkers, with no regard for getting my own checkers home or seeing to their safety -- and scored lower error ratings than usual. Of course, I lost most of the matches, but I got rating points for the matches I won and didn't lose rating points for the matches I lost. In fact, that probably accounts for the majority of the change in my rating over the last couple of weeks, during which I went from sub-700 to 1,000+.

Something in the algorithm seems to treat taking out a single as inherently less "erroneous" and producing greater "equity," even when doing so is an insanely dumb move.

I've started making a habit of looking at win/loss ratios instead of ratings when I think about clicking on another player's game offering. They seem to be a better indicator of whether I'm going to actually get challenged to play well, or just spend all my time on "let's see who can take out the most checkers, and hey, eventually there will accidentally/incidentally be a winner."


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